new in town

OK, I'm new on this site. I'm not an advanced knitter as most of you are. And to top it all, I'm a woman. Still, I do have a couple of existential bugs for you guys, so I hope you'll condescend to answer my humble questions ;-)
- about blocking: do I block only once, before putting all the pieces together or do I need to do this each time after washing the project (until know I've always lost interest somewhere half the project so I never had to deal with this one)
- when knitting with double thread, do you guys roll the skein with double thread beforehand or do you knit with 2 balls at once (no pun intended)

Anyway, love the site and the useful comments but above all the nice (and funny) things with which you support one another! I'll keep on reading the posts, even if you think I'm not physically equipped to entry myself ;-)


TomH's picture

Welcome, Ann. When I knit using double or triple strands of yarns, I do not interwind them. I keep each ball of yarn separate. To make the yarn management easier for me, I put each ball of yarn in a separate mixing bowl and set the bowls on the floor near me. That way each ball can easily unwind while I knit and I don't have to chase the balls around. As far as blocking, I'm no expert on that. Hope this helps a bit.

stch's picture

Hi Ann,

Welcome to MWK.
When knitting with two or more skeins of yarn, I knit with each seperate. As for blocking, I'm still in the learning phases of this process. HTH.

Celowin's picture

Wow, so much to respond to in such a short post...

First, I don't think that anyone here minds the occasional woman. The site is supposed to be for "promoting and inspiring the art of knitting amongst men," and there is nothing in that mission statement that a woman can't participate in. Personally, I welcome a different viewpoint.

There are knitters of all skill levels here. I think you might be surprised at how many members of this site have taken up knitting within the past few months.

You mention blocking pieces individually, and then assembling. According to Debbie Stoller in her book "Stitch and Bitch," that may be the "proper" way to do things, but no one actually does it that way. She recommends doing the assembly, and then blocking as a unit.

For washing as opposed to blocking, it is my understanding that it is really warm water that causes the fibers to relax and be set into position. If you wash in cold water, it should be much less of an issue (though you should still lay it flat to dry). I also think that for a quality hand knit garment, you may want to think about investing in dry cleaning for it as long as you don't mind the chemicals that are used.

Winding balls with two strands together seems like way too much work. I've only knit once with two strands, but working from separate balls was trivial. The yarn just naturally came together. I was surprised at how easy it was.

Anyway, I hope this helped, and welcome to the site!

grandcarriage's picture


Keep the balls separate. Saves a lot of headache if you miss a wrap with one but not the other, or if the yarns have different elasticity. I block after assembly. (It really doesn't matter THAT much... you'll find two camps on the matter, but for the most part, both work.) Cheers,

MMario's picture

speaking for myself - answering questions is as good a way to learn as is asking them; so ask away!

I don't do anything requiring assembly - so can't answer on that issue except in theory (so I won't) but re: working with two strands or more -

I keep them seperate and pull each from it's own ball/skein; I tend to use empty bulk CD containers for my yarn rather then mixing bowls.

I used a composite yarn recently that was essentially a strand of mohair with a strand of metalliic/acrylic blend - it was very very loosely plied; obviously wound together in one - and keeping the tension even between the two strands so that one didn't start to bulge and worm was a major pita.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I sometimes play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

MMario's picture

sounds like a painful experience.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I sometimes play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Hi Ann,

I always use steam to block pieces. Sometimes I assemble them first, and sometimes I don't -- whatever is easiest at the time. You can use a steam iron if you don't have a steamer; just hold it an inch or so above the fabric so that the soleplate doesn't make contact, and if you've pinned the fabric into shape, let it dry before unpinning and moving it.

Have fun,

ann g's picture

Great advice from all of you! thanks

Bill's picture

two ( or more) separate balls of yarn....much easier...

boyforpele13's picture

i also keep them separate, but use ziploc bags instead of mixing bowls with them cracked open just enough to allow the strand through. it makes untwisting, if necessary, a snap.

i block both ways but it depends for the item. for a garment or something else where seams will be easily visible and really matter, i would block separately before attaching and I find that really aids in a nice and neat assembly process, and then if there is still some shaping required after assembly, like with a bag or something, i will do that with a mist or steam. depends on the stitch pattern, too, doing a cabled bag mostly in stockinette now and i will have no choice but to block first really, it's a curled up nightmare, and i'm sure i will do some shaping afterwards, as well. i hate blocking and have little free horizontal pet-safe space, so sometimes i just do what i gotta do. ;)

welcome to the forum!

[URL=""]Share Your Life With a Deaf Dog![/URL]